In-vitro effect of human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide LL-37 on dengue virus type 2.
BACKGROUND/AIMS The innate immune response is remarkably important for controlling infections. Information about the participation of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in response to dengue virus (DENV) is scarce. The aim of this study was to examine the AMP response to DENV-2 in human THP-1 cells and neutrophils. METHODS Protein and mRNA levels of two AMPs - hBD-1 and cathelicidin LL-37 - were assessed in DENV-infected macrophage-like THP-1 cells using qRT-PCR and indirect immunofluorescence. Also, mRNA levels of α-defensins (hDEFAs) and LL-37 were examined by qRT-PCR in human neutrophils taken from peripheral blood and treated with DENV-2. RESULTS mRNA expression of hBD-1 rose in THP-1 cells at 24-72 h, while protein expression increased later, from 48 to 72 h after infection. Cathelicidin LL-37 mRNA expression of DENV-infected THP-1 cells was observed at 6-48 h after infection, while protein levels increased importantly up to 72 h after infection. Regarding neutrophils, the mRNA expression of hDEFAs and LL-37 increased slightly at 2 and 5 h after the contact with DENV-2. CONCLUSION THP-1 cells and human neutrophils strongly respond to DENV by producing AMPs: hBD-1 and LL-37 for the THP-1 cells and hDEFAs and LL-37 for neutrophils. However, the direct effect of these molecules on DENV particles remains unclear.